When to have asbestos testing done

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by tsb, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. tsb

    tsb well dressed

    I have a client that wants me to grind his commercial floor to prep for a clear sealer.

    I was told it had carpet glue and adhesive from a rubber floor. After a site visit i discovered there was blast mastic (from 12" tiles) under an underlayment.

    I informed him that we couldn't proceed until asbestos testing was done. He came back today and said that the flooring was installed 16 years ago and asked if we still needed testing done.

    I told him yes (especially since there's residual cutback from 9" tiles on the 2nd floor that's not in my scope).

    But it got me thinking, what's the general consensus on testing for asbestos in newer construction. If asbestos was phased out of flooring tiles in the early 80's when do you figure it's safe to assume it does not contain asbestos? 1990? 2000? Always test?

    Including a picture of it just because.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I think always when there is cutback down, especially in commercial settings. For 35$ it’s worth it every time. I was in McCarthur Airport last week and wanted to scrape adhesive residue from chipped away VCT. One job we removed I got test results back after the fact for a small area, the rest of job we were asked to remove at a later date I declined.

    If you have a local lab that’s golden, even though I send samples to California I get results in 4 days.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. tsb

    tsb well dressed

    I agree. Just wondering if that's what most people are doing. I won't even touch it though so I'm sure it costs the owner a lot more than $35 to have a company come out and test. I don't want any of that liability.
  4. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Even though it was phased out by 1990, companies were allowed to sell their stock of material. It could have been much later that all was finally installed. Why take a chance when $30-35 gets answers.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Graeme

    Graeme Pro Member

    The only way to tell is to get it tested. I cannot think of a good reason to take on the liability of working without having that assurance. We would put the responsibility back on the GC / end user. Essentially saying, we will be happy to proceed once we are provided with the "all clear" (official test results). Presenting it this way, like there is no other way to do it, made it easier to get the testing done.

    To be fair, early in my career, I didn't know any of this. I was doing mostly residential back then, and was likely exposed to some asbestos. Not really happy about that to this day. I am glad I learned more, and started doing things better than in "the good old days".
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    If there's any doubt about the existing flooring, glue, underlayment or whatever have it tested. I don't even think about it if the building was built in the 2000s. But before that (80s/90s) I use my discretion and experience to exclude SOME instances as necessary to test.
  7. dave123

    dave123 Member

    Also, I believe it is still legal for companies to use tiny amounts of asbestos in certain products and not even need to tell anyone. I know it was true, at least up till recently, for brake pad manufacturers, but an asbestos tech told me once that anything manufactured now that contains 1% asbestos or less, does not need to be declared.

    And the quality/reliability of the lab is always uncertain. How would any of us know how hard they looked for it?

    My approach to removing any building material is just to assume it contains asbestos, or another substance that's harmful (like silica).

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